So, Carol Anne Duffy. I don’t know much of her stuff, and what I know of it, I don’t much like.
Therefore I am not personally impressed with her being chosen as Laureate. I’m prepared to be convinced, if anyone has any of her stuff they wish to post up here/lend to me/buy for me (not really, you’re none of you much richer than me…).
Furthermore I feel that as a feminist woman (and one who is proud to give herself that label) I should be more pleased that a woman has finally been made Laureate. I’m not about to celebrate tokenism though, to be honest; and I’m not about to start dancing in the streets because they have appointed a woman, symbol or not. Tokenism could well be the thing, of course, becuase the post of Laureate is a very ambassadorial, tokenistic role, so therefore who better than a strong gay woman (and, pshaw, why isn’t she black as well?). I don’t think that she’s been appointed just to make some kind of PR statement, and I hope that’s not the case, at least not for any other reason than that she is a pretty popular poet, who is easy to understand, and who speaks to the masses. Anyway, I’m not about to celebrate the fact that a woman has finally been given this post, I want to be able to celebrate because a good poet who really deserved this recognition got this post, and I’m not saying that Carol Anne Duffy isn’t that poet, I am yet to be convinced.
Personally I think there are other poets out there who wrench a far more real emotional reaction out of me, punch me in the solar plexus and, well, who I prefer, frankly, who are equally as accessible without being, as I remember, trite. But like I say, ‘as I remember’: I can’t really remember much about her poetry except that I didn’t like it at the time, and who knows what I might think now.
Anyway, I don’t think this is specifically any kind of feminist ‘victory’, because it isn’t about women over men, or men over women, it should be about Is The Person Appointed The Right Person For The Job Regardless Of Anything But Their Ability To Do The Job.
Anyway, there’s my rather confused tuppen’orth; what do you think? Comments most definitely welcome (despite the fact that I should definitely be revising…)…